- Picture books
New York :
Atheneum Books For Young Readers
- First edition
- Physical Description
- 1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
- Main Author
- Other Authors
What at first seems like just another fairy tale takes an abrupt turn when a sheep named Arnold interrupts. Arnold wants desperately to be in the story ("We sheep are usually just in the background, grazing and minding our own business. Boring"), and eventually, the narrator relents. Gamely, he tries to get about telling the story of Little Red Riding Hood, but Arnold has his own ideas, interrupting to change the setting and cast his friends: Einer the muskrat as the wolf, and Frankie the warthog as Granny ("She'd be great. She's won a granny award"). But with so many wild cards in the mix, it isn't long before the story goes totally off the rails, much to the narrator's dismay. But Arnold got them into this mess—maybe he can find a way out? Atkinson's brightly colored cartoon-style illustrations depict Arnold as a red-caped, energetic figure—and as a slightly smaller sheep when he has an illustrator make a few cosmetic adjustments to his wool. A fun, meta, fractured fairy tale. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews
Enthusiastic Arnold is tired of sheep—such as himself—being relegated to the background in books, so he inserts himself into the story of Little Red Riding Hood. Arnold assures the unseen author-artist that he won't be sorry for including him, but he soon starts objecting to the familiar beats of the story: the foreboding woods ("Can I erase a tree or two? Bring in some more light..."), the hungry wolf ("I have this friend, Einer. He's a muskrat and would be perfect as the wolf"), and the questionable plot points (as the wolf, Einer "doesn't believe in solving problems by eating them"). As Arnold and his friends work their magic, Lodding (Painting Pepette) transforms this classic tale into a clever story about representation and inclusion; Arnold is an avid reader who never sees characters like him take center stage. Atkinson (Maxwell the Monkey Barber) emphasizes Arnold's unfailing positivity in cheerfully colored, in-your-face digital illustrations that generate a mood of creative chaos. A strong readaloud and excellent starting point for conversations about representation, character, and story. Ages 4–8. Author's agent: Jennifer Unter, Unter Agency. (Aug.) Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.Review by School Library Journal Reviews
PreS-Gr 2—In this story within a story, an unnamed narrator attempts to tell the classic tale of "Little Red Riding Hood," only to be repeatedly interrupted by a sheep named Arnold. Frustrated that sheep are often in the background of books and not active participants, Arnold begs to be cast as Little Red Riding Hood. Following his initial success, he makes further suggestions about setting and dialogue and proposes that the other roles be reassigned to his animal friends. In one ponderous section, the plot visits uncharted territory as Arnold is redrawn and made thinner by a guest artist. Throughout, readers meet a muskrat and warthog, who are also looking for gigs as storybook characters, and, at last, a buffalo, who readers learn is the reteller Arnold has been interrupting. Arnold may be adorable, but his pun-heavy demands on the narrator are more annoying than cute, and the narrator's responses come across as tired and disinterested. Though the text falls flat, Atkinson's artwork is charming, and every sketch and brightly painted layered spread featuring allergy-laden Einer the muskrat is particularly delightful. VERDICT This is a fun lesson in storytelling with cheerful illustrations that may amuse kids, but ultimately the leading player's irritating behavior makes him an unsympathetic character. A quirky and over-the-top retelling.—Lauren Younger, New York Public Library Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.
Arnold the sheep wants to play Little Red Riding Hood, and he has suggestions on how to make the story better.Review by Publisher Summary 2
A whimsical twist on the fairy tale classic finds Arnold the fluffy sheep excitedly hoping to portray Little Red Riding Hood only to be challenged by his fear of the dark woods, a red cape that does not quite fit over his wool and an author who needs to be convinced that the sheep's buddy would make a convincing Granny. Simultaneous eBook.Review by Publisher Summary 3
The beloved classic, Little Red Riding Hood, has never had a cuter, more enthusiastic star than Arnold in this witty picture book that's perfect for reading aloud.Arnold is an eager young sheep who is excited to be in his very first book. No problem-o! Except he's a bit big and fluffy to play Little Red Riding Hood, and he's a tiny bit scared of the deep dark woods. Oh, and he has a friend who would be just perfect as Granny'perhaps the author wouldn't mind a few suggestions?Review by Publisher Summary 4
The beloved classic, Little Red Riding Hood, has never had a cuter, more enthusiastic star than Arnold in this witty picture book that's perfect for reading aloud.Arnold is an eager young sheep who is excited to be in his very first book. No problem-o! Except he's a bit big and fluffy to play Little Red Riding Hood, and he's a tiny bit scared of the deep dark woods. Oh, and he has a friend who would be just perfect as Granny'perhaps the author wouldn't mind a few suggestions?